How to ask for things at the restaurant in Italian

When you’re out in a restaurant you will need to be able to ask for what you want. If you want to ask for something in Italian, use vorrei (I’d like) or vorremmo (we’d like). Vorrei and vorremmo come from the verb volere (to want).

I’d like…

Vorrei del pane, per favore. – I’d like some bread, please.

Vorrei una caraffa d’acqua, per favore. – I’d like a jug of water, please.

Vorremmo ordinare, per favore. – We’d like to order, please.

Ancora del pane, per favore. – We’d like some more bread, please.

Un tavolo per due, per favore. – A table for two, please.

Il conto, per favore. – The bill, please.


When the waiter approaches and you want to say that you’re not ready to order, use Ci (or Mi) dà ancora un minuto, per favore? (Can we (or I) have another minute, please?). Alternatively, if your order has already been taken, you can say abbiamo (or ho) già ordinato, grazie (We (or I) have already ordered, thanks).



To talk about what you want to order, use prendo (I’ll have). Prendo comes from the verb prendere.

I’ll have…

Come antipasto, prendo il prosciutto crudo. – As a starter, I’ll have the Parma ham.

Come dolce, prendo la mousse al cioccolato. – For dessert, I’ll have the chocolate mousse.

Da bere prendiamo dell’acqua minerale frizzante. – We’ll have sparkling water to drink.

Non so cosa prendere. – I don’t know what to have.

E per secondo, la cotoletta alla milanese. – And for my main course, I’ll have the cotoletta alla milanese.

Per me lo stesso. – I’ll have the same.



When you want to find out if something is available, use Avete…? (Have you got…?). Avete comes from the verb avere (to have).

Have you got…?

Avete un menú per bambini? – Have you got a children menu?

Avete un seggiolone? – Have you got a high chair?

Avete un tavolo all’aperto? – Do you have a table outside?

Avete la carta dei vini? – Do you have a wine list?


If you want to ask someone, for example the waiter, for something in Italian, use Mi porta…? (Can I have…?) or Mi porterebbe…? (Could I have…?).

Can I have…?

Mi porta un’altra forchetta per cortesia? – Can I have another fork, please?

Mi porta la lista dei dolci per favore? – Can I have the dessert menu, please?

Mi porterebbe dell’olio di oliva per favore? – Could I have some olive oil please?

Ci porterebbe del pane per favore? – Could we have some bread please?

Mi fa il conto, per favore? – Can I have the bill, please?


If yiu want to ask the waiter to do something for you, use Potrebbe…? If you want to ask someone such as a friend or a close colleague to do something for you, use Potresti…? instead.

Could you…?

Potrebbe portarmi del pane per favore? – Could you bring me some bread please?

Potrebbe portarci i caffé per favore? – Could you bring us our coffees please?

Potrebbe magari tornare tra cinque minuti per favore? – Could you possibly come back in five minutes?

Potresti passarmi il sale per favore? – Could you pass me the salt please?

Le posate sono sporche. Ce le cambia per favore? – The knives and forks are dirty. Could you change them, please?

Would you mind…?

Le spiace chiudere la finestra? – Would you mind closing the window?

Le spiace se mi siedo qui? – Would you mind if I sit here?

Ti dispaice se ci scambiamo di posto? – Would you mind swapping seats with me?

Le dispiace prendere i nostri cappotti? – Would you mind taking our coats?


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McNeillie, J., 2015. Italian conversation. 2nd ed. Glasgow: Collins.




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